Recently I was selected to lead a professional development for the DeKalb Educators' Annual Conference 2016. The session was titled Authentic Learning: How to Facilitate Community Development Through Project-Based Learning. I'm sharing this because I received so much positive feedback from attendees who couldn't wait to get started with these types of projects in their classrooms, and I figured someone else out there might benefit from these ideas.
When I think back over the course of this year, and all the work the students put in to The BuHi Project, I am amazed at how much we were able to accomplish. I have had several students make significant gains in reading. They’ve gone from a fifth-grade reading level (as assessed by the STAR Reader program) to an eighth-grade reading level – and in some cases even higher.
I’m trying to get out of the way to make sure that this is not about what I want to see, but that it is about what they would like to see. I’m trying to make sure that democracy is something that everyone has available to them, and of course, I’m trying to show them just why reading, writing, thinking, and speaking is important.